Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Random Beauty

I wish I had time to blog all the beautiful things I experience, or even photograph. I try to keep up, to document the beauty of our days and relationships, but loveliness slips through the cracks. I'd get discouraged if it weren't such a good problem to have: this business of being overwhelmed by blessings.

I thought I might try and put together a post of random (as yet unblogged) beauty from the last two weeks of my life.

04/29/13: Baby Aubrie

I prayed so hard for this baby, and even as I took photos of butterflies at the Tennessee Aquarium over spring break, I was thinking of her and how, after her birth, I'd like to give her wings. Her sweet mama was gracious in giving me the opportunity to try. This is actually a composite of three different photos. 

05/04/13: Zoo Trip with Daddy 

The three little children and I go to the Metro Richmond Zoo very often, but Jim had been to the zoo only once before: on May 1, 2010, when I was pregnant with Charleigh. Here's a photo of Jim and Clementine from three years ago.

 Here's a photo of Jim and Chip from the other day:

 And here's a photo of Jim and the girls:

Jim's weight loss is dramatic; isn't it? I don't know how much he weighed three years ago. What I do know is that he's lost over two hundred pounds in the last twelve months: fifty going into his gastric-bypass surgery, and more than one hundred and fifty since.

I'm so proud of him. He was incredibly brave to take that step, and I know he did it out of his profound love for us. He's looking more and more like the man I dated nineteen years ago, but I've always seen that man in him. What I appreciate more than his appearance is his new-found ability to keep up with us. I couldn't help but remember, the other day, how often he had to stop and rest on his only other trip to the zoo.

Lord, we give thanks to You for Your faithfulness and help.

I love dearly this photo because our little Charleigh is skittish around animals and birds. Daddy made her brave.

I wanted to share these photos, too, because remember how I blogged about our IMAX experience at the Science Museum of Virginia? The film we saw, Born to Be Wild, was in part about a woman who cares for orphaned orangutans. So it was meaningful for the girls to have this experience just four days later:

May 11, 2013: Date Night

Jim and I ate dinner on the patio of Champps and spent some time walking around the outdoor  fashion park. We had Baby Chip with us, but he's an outdoor man just graduated to an umbrella stroller, so he was perfectly content and quiet. Jim took this photo with my cell phone:

May 12, 2013: Mother's Day

Jim brought me breakfast in bed: an omelet and sugary strawberries. The six of us went to church and, afterwards, to a one-hour play called Cinderella: The Fairy Godmother's Tale. Here, the girls with "Cinderella":

That night, Jim prepared an amazing dinner of salad; baked potatoes; and grilled corn, steak, and shrimp:

It was my first Mother's Day with Baby Chip and, therefore, with all the children this thirty-nine-year-old body will ever bear. I studied their faces and thanked God: at last, we are all here. I thought, as I do often, of those who continue to wait for someone. Please know: if you're waiting, I'm praying for you.


  1. Your cup runneth over. You have so much to be happy about. Thanks for taking the time to share. Love the butterfly wings on little Aubrie. :)

  2. I can just feel the heart felt love in this post. It oozes from you. Love you Brandee, we need another phone visit soon.

  3. Brandee,
    What a wonderful post! Your posts are a blessing to those who stop by. Why? There is always something beautiful to read and view. You have a way of bringing the beauty of everyday life, to "life." Your bookmark was sent yesterday. I had many orders to complete and just got a little backed-up. Many blessings to you and yours!

  4. This "random" post a breath of fresh to me today. I had an incredible experience with my family at Born to Be Wild, too, and one with the orangutans at our zoo here in Portland last weekend. Made me feel connected across the miles.

  5. oh my goodness! Jim has lost a HEAP of weight! What a brave and inspiration man of God! {{hugs}} to you both XX

    Love the butterfly wings *sniff* and the beautiful smiles on your children's faces. You are such a goood Mama and Wife, Brandee!

    PS. I too get lost in all the mire of badness and get so consumed sometimes that I miss the the little moments of grace. I'm working on that and the "renewing of my mind"

  6. haha beautiful pictures...so full of life...love the butterfly composite...and the face at the end...wow on hubs weight loss...way to go jim...that is incredible!

  7. jim looks amazing. that's some incredible fortitude--i'm in awe. i love seeing glimpses of beauty from your life, and reading your gorgeous perspective. and also, i love every time you post a pic of you.

  8. Loved this post. You have so much to be thankful for and I feel blessed to get to catch a glimpse! Had a few moments today while grace slept. That I am thankful for.